The Best Durable Headphones in 2021

We’ve all been there. You’re listening to music while enjoying your commute or your daily jog when, all of a sudden, the music stops coming out of one side of your headphones. Personally, I’d prefer no music at all to listening to my favorite songs without the bass or the guitar or the drums. I’ve also “cheaped out” on headphones before, and I can tell you that cheap earbuds are just not worth it. You’ll end up spending more money down the line constantly replacing them, and taking time out of your day to go to the store or order a new pair is a pain.

If you’re a music lover who wants your next headphones to be your last, then you need good, durable headphones. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of the best durable headphones on the market, just for you.

Carry on reading to see our full list of the best durable headphones, followed by a recap breaking down what makes each product on our list stand out. Or jump straight to our number #1 pick on Amazon here.

What Should You Look For in a Set of Headphones?

Even if you’re a die-hard audiophile, you might not really know what to look for in your headphones. We want to make our process as clear as possible so that you can easily follow our list. We also want you to learn a thing or two so that you can conduct your own further research if we’re not able to find the right pair of durable headphones for you. Besides, even if you know what to look for, it’s good to have everything written down. Keep reading to see the rubric we used when assessing the best headphones that are built to last.

Criteria #1: Sound Quality – This one is pretty obvious. IF your music doesn’t sound good, your headphones aren’t doing their job. Of course, when we’re actually reviewing specific products, we’ll want to be a little more descriptive than “sounds good.” There are a few different factors that contribute to good sound quality, but we’ll usually focus on headphones that can handle the full range of sound from bass all the way to treble, and that doesn’t add any unwanted distortion. We want you to feel like you’re hearing your music live, and we want you to hear every single note.

Criteria #2: Durability – Considering that this is a list of durable headphones, durability is obviously pretty important. We’re looking for the strongest headphones on the market that are made from the most durable material so they can last until you retire. Reviews are very important here. While every product will have some instances of negligence and breakage by the owner, we don’t want you to buy a pair of headphones that have a track record and multiple complaints in regards to their durability.

Criteria #3: Extra Features – The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra. The real best headphones on the market won’t just have a good sound quality and a durable frame, but the best design and features that will streamline your musical experience. With everything from a control panel on the headphones to active noise canceling to Bluetooth capabilities, these extra features really can make all of the difference. We’re going to try our hardest to find you the best durable headphones that have all of the bells and whistles.

Criteria #4: Price – We’re not here to make you spend a ton of money for no reason. Meeting this criterion is less about being cheap and more about justifying your price. We’d rather buy an expensive product that’s cheaper than it should be than waste money on a cheaper product that isn’t worth the money and that will just break on you or not perform well.

Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Durable Headphones

We measured the specs of the top products on the market against our listed criteria to see how they held up and if they’re worth buying. We then checked customer reviews, blog posts, and “best durable headphones” articles to see if the products on our list performed as advertised. We’ll also make sure to include a wide variety of products that covers different niches and price points. This way, everyone can find the perfect product that will satisfy their needs and their budget.

And without further ado, here is our list – tailored to your specific needs – of the best durable headphones.

#1: Sony MDR1000X Noise-Canceling Headphones (Best Value – All-Purpose)

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There probably isn’t a person in the United States who hasn’t heard of Sony. The tech giants make everything from TVs and video game consoles to refrigerators, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone to see the Japanese company on the top of our list. The Sony MDR1000X Noise-Canceling Headphones offer amazing performance and excellent sound quality at a reasonable price. These durable wireless headphones pretty much sell themselves.

Though it’s the noise-canceling feature that really gave these durable headphones their reputation, there’s plenty more that you get from the Sony MDR1000X Noise-Canceling Headphones. For example, the “Quick Attention” feature actually lets you temporarily opt out of the noise-canceling, so you can always stay alert and hear that important train or bus announcement. All you need to do is place your hand over the right ear cup of these wireless headphones, and you’ll hear everything around you clear as crystal. Plus, these Bluetooth headphones boast a 20-hour battery life, so you won’t need to charge them in the middle of the day or any time soon. Even a transcontinental flight will be no problem with these bad boys.

As far as sound quality goes, the Sony MDR1000X Noise-Canceling Headphones feature a 40-mm audio driver that gives these headphones clear sound and a fantastic range. You can go from funky or jazzy bass notes to operatic soprano in seconds and hear everything loud and clear. You’ll probably wonder how you ever listened to music before the Sony MDR1000X Noise-Canceling Headphones.

The Sony MDR1000X Noise-Canceling Headphones have earned critical acclaim from paying customers and official reviews alike, and they’ve earned special attention for their durability. Of course, the fact that they’re wireless certainly helps there. No wire means there’s just one less physical part that can break. And as we’ve mentioned earlier, these wireless headphones are one of the most affordable options out there, especially considering the sound quality and overall performance you’re getting from them. Our top-ranked Sony headphones are one of the most durable headphones you can find, at a price you can afford, and with the sound quality, you deserve. The Sony MDR1000X Noise-Canceling Headphones were an easy choice as our best value durable headphones.

#2: Sennheiser Momentum 3.0 Wireless Headphones (Best Overall Durable Headphones)

The Sony MDR1000X Noise-Canceling Headphones may have been the best durable headphones for the deal-finders out there, but some customers don’t want the best deal. They want the best durable headphones, full stop. If you’re willing to splurge and spend the big bucks on the absolute best product you can find, then you’ll have to check out the Sennheiser Momentum 3.0 Wireless Headphones. These recording-grade headphones may be a bit pricey, but they’re worth every penny. Keep reading to find out why these premium durable headphones are exactly what you’re looking for as that little treat from you to you.

Reason #1 to Choose This Product: Active Noise-Canceling

Similar to the Quick Alert feature of our top-ranked headphones from Sony, the Sennheiser Momentum 3.0 Wireless Headphones boast an active noise-canceling feature that can be turned on or off with the quick press of a button. Sometimes you just need to be more alert to your surroundings, but if you really want to enjoy your music and go to your own little world, then these are the headphones for you. Sennheiser is known for making recording-level headphones, so you can be sure the Momentum 3.0 will really drown out everything. You’ll be at your own personal concert with these noise-canceling headphones.

Reason #2 to Choose This Product: Optional Wired Mode

Just as sometimes you want noise canceling, but other times you want to be a little more aware of your surroundings, so you don’t always want your headphones to be wireless. Thankfully, the Sennheiser Momentum 3.0 Wireless Headphones boasts an optional wire that will let you use these headphones in a more traditional manner. You won’t have to worry about pesky things like battery life unless you really want the freedom of wireless headphones. But for longer trips or weekend getaways, the wired mode is probably the way to go. Of course, our runner-up headphones boast 17-hour battery life, multi-device support, and easy pairing with NFC technology, plus the best 5.0-edition Bluetooth technology, so you really might not find yourself using the wired mode all that often. But the option is always nice, and it just shows that the Sennheiser Momentum 3.0 Wireless Headphones covered all of the bases.

On top of the noise-canceling and the dual wired and wireless capabilities, the Sennheiser Momentum 3.0 Wireless Headphones feature a fantastic microphone that’s great for recording, phone calls, or online gaming. They also feature a foldable design and a stainless steel frame with leather padding that makes these Sennheiser earpieces some of the most durable headphones out there, while also being nice and comfortable.

What else is there to say? It would have been quicker to write what the Sennheiser Momentum 3.0 Wireless Headphones can’t do. Sure, they’re expensive, but you get what you pay for. Get excellent sound quality from the most durable headphones on the market with the Sennheiser Momentum 3.0 Wireless Headphones.

#3: V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless Over-Ear Headphones (Best for Traveling)

For probably 90 percent of music lovers and podcast enthusiasts, most of your listening is done on your daily commute or other time spent on busses and trains. And while over-ear headphones are generally better in terms of sound quality than their in-ear counterparts, they’re not always exactly convenient to travel with. Enter the V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless Over-Ear Headphones.

These headphones grace our list of the most durable headphones while also having one of the most convenient designs imaginable. Just one look at the V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless Over-Ear Headphones in their carrying case will make any commuter or frequent flyer speechless. You’ll be able to fit these headphones into your bag with zero problems. Say goodbye to the days of walking around with your headphones around your neck because you don’t have anywhere to put them.

On top of their extra-portable design, the V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless Over-Ear Headphones boast a 14-hour battery life, and the headphones recharge in just 100 minutes. While that battery life is a little shorter than the other options on our list, you can always opt to turn these V-MODA earpieces into wired headphones and forego battery life altogether.

Foam cushions and a flexible headband also make these headphones some of the most comfortable pairs on the market, and they offer natural noise canceling. Plus, the V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless Over-Ear Headphones premise zero latency, and the 50-mm audio drivers will give you amazing sound quality that you’ll have to hear to believe.

The biggest drawback of the V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless Headphones is definitely their price. They fall into just about the same price range as our Sennheiser headphones. While they don’t have the battery life or the noise-canceling of the Sennheisers, they do have the most convenient design available and are some of the comfiest headphones available. They also boast their own stylish design that might win over some more aesthetic-oriented fans. Any traveler who doesn’t want to stick to flimsy earbuds needs to buy these V-MODA headphones.

#4: Symphonized Wraith 2.0 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones (Best Low Cost)

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Ear-covering headphones are naturally going to be more expensive than earbuds, even particularly durable earbuds or true-wireless earbuds. But if you want to mitigate the expenses as much as possible and our top-ranked Sony product was a little outside your budget, then you’ll have to check out the Symphonized Wraith 2.0 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones. These affordable headphones boast a stainless steel headband that you know will increase durability, and the wooden ear cups are a great fashion statement.

As you’re probably learning to expect, the Symphonized Wraith 2.0 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones can function either as wireless headphones or as wired headphones. When they’re operating wirelessly, they have a battery life of 10 hours, so you may find they work best as wired headphones. The 40-mm audio drivers will give you great sound quality, that’s been praised for being crystal clear even at lower volumes, and some premium noise-canceling at a budget price.

It’s pretty clear where your money is going with the Symphonized Wraith 2.0 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones, and most of the tradeoff for the cheap price of these headphones is their short battery life, and that they don’t collapse or fold at all, which means they’re not exactly portable. Most customers will probably admit that this is a pretty fair trade. These wooden-earcup headphones sound great and are right up there with the most durable headphones on the market, and isn’t that all you really need?

Are Over-Ears the Best Headphones?

The short answer is yes. Obviously, there are going to be exceptions when you’re dealing with really cheap and low-quality ear-covering headphones compared to expensive and fancy wireless earbuds, but the general rule is that these big headpieces offer the best sound quality and noise-canceling. Of course, they’re also usually more expensive, and they’re by definition a lot bulkier.

If you need to save money or you want something that can fit in your pocket, then you should probably opt for earbuds, but don’t cheap out too much. Those $10 earbuds you saw at the convenience store will break in just a few months, and they won’t even sound good before that. If all you care about is how good your music or video game sounds, buy over-ears. It’s no coincidence that we didn’t include any earbuds – wireless or otherwise – on our list. If you ask me, “durable earbuds” is an oxymoron.

Verdict: Your Best Durable Headphones

We’re reaching the end of our list, and you’re hopefully starting to get a good idea of which of our products is best for you. But if you haven’t made up your mind yet, not to worry. We don’t want to rush you, and we know how important it is to make sure you’re getting the durable headphones that are perfect for you. That’s why we’re going to recap all of our durable headphones and focus on their standout features. This way, you’ll be able to see the highlights and really know what each product has to offer for you.

If you want the best value for your money, pick the Sony MDR1000X Noise-Canceling Headphones.

If you understand that the best deal isn’t the cheapest product, but the one that gives you the most bang for your buck, then the Sony MDR1000X Noise-Canceling Headphones are the headphones for you. With top-notch audio quality, fantastic battery life, a sleek design, and – of course – a durable body, these headphones really do have it all. That’s not even mentioning some of the amazing features like the Quick Alert function that lets you turn off the noise-canceling by placing your hand over the right ear cup, a feature that’s just as cool as it is useful. Did we mention it’s actually affordable? If you want one of the most durable headphones out there without paying an arm and a leg, buy the Sony MDR1000X Noise-Canceling Headphones.

If you need the most portable headphones, pick the V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless Over-Ear Headphones.

Over-ears are not known for their convenience. But the V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless Headphones fold up into a bundle of musical goodness that can fit in the palm of your hand, and the included carrying case makes the V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless Over-Ear Headphones the best friend of commuters everywhere. Of course, you’re also getting amazing Bluetooth connectivity and the best audio quality out there thanks to 50-mm audio drivers. These headphones may be a little pricey, but if you need the best sound quality from durable headphones that are actually easy to travel with, then these are the only headphones for you.

If you want to keep the spending cheap, pick the Symphonized Wraith 2.0 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones.

Over-ears don’t have to be expensive. The Symphonized Wraith 2.0 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones give you a durable build, 40-mm audio drivers, Bluetooth connectivity, and fashionable wooden ear cups for less than some wireless earbuds. These headphones feature a stainless steel headband that’s sure to stay in shape, and the only real drawback of these budget earpieces is the low battery life and the not-very-portable design. Of course, you can always just opt for the wired connection, and maybe these headphones will become a great part of your gaming rig. If you’re looking at price, then there’s just no contest. Buy the Symphonized Wraith 2.0 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones.

That just about brings things to an end. If you didn’t like any of the three headphones highlighted above, you might like the powerful and studio-tier Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless Headphones.

Remember, all of the headphones on our list have one main trait that really sets them apart from the rest of the crowd, so that’s where you’ll want to look before you make your decision. Think about the trait that’s most important to you before you get started, and all of a sudden the buying process will be a lot quicker than you expected.

That’s all for now. We hope that our list has helped you find the best durable pair of headphones for all of your audio needs from music to podcasts to videogames!

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